The quest for national security through the expansion of military force has been a dominant feature of international relations for the past three decades. Since the Second World War this quest has given rise to an arms race which has seen the development, production and deployment of weapons of mass destruction in numbers great enough to threaten the termination of human society. It is thus only reasonable to try to understand the forces which have propelled this process forward and to ask whether the process has, in fact, resulted in the achievement of its alleged primary objective — the improvement, or at least the maintenance of the military security of the participants.
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